Police officers play an integral role in society. They put their lives on the line daily to maintain order in our communities. Like correctional officers, bailiffs, and other law enforcement workers, police officers are at a higher risk of developing work-related injuries. This is partly because of the wide-ranging and physical nature of their duties. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the illnesses and injuries they receive are so serious that they disrupt officers’ ability to do their jobs.
Law enforcement is unpredictable. On any given day, officers have to run, restrain individuals, carry injured people, defend themselves, and respond to unanticipated events as they occur. They can also get stabbed, shot or otherwise injured by suspects. Fortunately, Maryland’s workers’ compensation scheme provides benefits to officers who suffer on-the-job injuries or illnesses.
For some illnesses, the condition is presumed to be work-related and police officers can get more benefits than the average citizen. However, despite the sacrifice officers make, they sometimes find it difficult to get the benefits they deserve when they get injured. That’s why it’s so important to work with a competent Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer.
Dangerous Situations Police Officers Encounter in Maryland
Police officers in Maryland face several hazards while on the job. These include:
- Violence. Arresting suspects or intervening in an altercation can result in a police officer becoming a victim.
- Vehicular accidents. Some crashes occur while officers are on patrol while others occur during high-speed chases. Officers can also be struck by vehicles while on foot.
- Exposure to illness. Officers can be exposed to diseases or viruses when they respond to medical emergencies or collisions involving injuries.
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals. Sometimes police officers come into contact with toxins or harsh chemicals. If they aren’t aware of the situation they’re heading into, they can suffer serious harm.
- Overexertion. Police officers often wear heavy-duty belts and bulletproof vests and some have to sit for very long periods. These aspects of the job can also lead to serious injuries.
Common Injuries Police Officers Suffer
These types of incidents can result in:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Bruises and contusions
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Chemical burns
Police officers are also at risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and psychological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. If you end up with an injury or illness as a result of your job, you can pursue compensation with help from a Maryland workers’ compensation attorney.
Sometimes, officers succumb to their injuries. In 2018, 108 police and sheriff’s patrol officers in the country died from job-related injuries. This was an increase of 14 percent from 2017, according to the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Police Officers Can Claim
Like most other workers in Maryland, police officers are eligible for various types of benefits if they get injured or become ill. Depending on the nature and severity of their condition, they may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Rehabilitation costs
In addition, if you’re a survivor of a police officer who died in the line of duty, you may be eligible for death benefits.
Special Benefits for Police Officers
Police officers in Maryland are considered public safety employees and they, therefore, benefit from additional protections. Firstly, if they develop heart disease, high blood pressure or some forms of cancer, there’s a legal presumption that their injuries are occupational. They would be eligible for workers’ comp without having to prove that they developed the condition because of their job. This presumption isn’t extended to other categories of workers. Police officers may also qualify for higher disability benefits than private sector workers. Sometimes, they can get up to twice the amount other workers receive.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC to Discuss Your Case Today!
If you’re a police officer who has suffered a work-related injury or illness, you may be overwhelmed by the situation. If your injuries are long-term or permanent, you’ll be eager to get all the benefits you deserve. To ensure you get everything to which you’re entitled, reach out to the Maryland workers’ comp lawyers at Pinder Plotkin LLC. Whether you suffered injuries while breaking up a fight or you were struck by a reckless driver, we can help you. We’ll provide the guidance and legal representation that will help you to achieve the best possible outcome. Call our team today to set up a consultation.